Bills would require hotels reopening after pandemic to rehire furloughed employees
More than 15,000 Baltimore workers employed in area hotels, casinos, restaurants and sports arenas have been laid off, through no fault of their own, due to the pandemic. After huddling with furloughed workers and union representatives on October 6, representatives from 9 Baltimore City parishes called on Mayor Bernard Young to sign legislation guaranteeing their “right to recall” when these businesses reopen.
The two bills, recently approved by a large majority in the City Council, do not require the hotels and other venues to rehire these workers now, but would insist that when they do hire, they offer the furloughed employees the jobs before recruiting replacement workers.
The audience of nearly one dozen Baltimore City pastors and lay social ministry leaders was deeply moved by the testimony of Jose Ramirez, a public area cleaner at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel. UNITE HERE union organizer Tracy Lingo translated the testimony and shared how the City Council had voted for two local ordinances protecting hospitality workers’ right to recall whether they belong to the union or not. The group agreed to submit a joint letter to the Mayor urging him to sign the essential legislation. (CLICK HERE to view the letter.)
To date the Mayor has taken no action. If he vetoes the bills they will be returned to the Council for further action.